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As a director-composer, Jennifer Bell specialises in a-cappella song cycles. The shows reveal extraordinary moments in everyday life, finding big themes in small details. Performances are often played out in unusual locations, through which the themes resonate. Groups of singers have filled working office blocks with song, as well as sang on busses and in the woods. The company has produced a promenade oratorio in the Houses of Parliament, recorded for film, and taken the work into theatres, for audiences at Bristol Old Vic and Mayfest.
Jennifer is a co-director of Bristol Berlin Queer Arts Exchange CIC, alongside Chris Gylee and Richard Aslan. It is a company that makes and curates participatory community and arts events to present the work of queer artists. It supports artistic exchanges and residencies between Bristol and Berlin, offering exciting opportunities for research and development in these creatively nourishing cities. Their latest project, Social Muscle Muscle Club: Queer Bristol, brought together LGTBQ+ organisations from across Bristol, with members from Pride Without Borders.
Jennifer is one of the group of international artists who produce Social Muscle Club. She has worked with its founders Rahel, Jill, Till and Jared on clubs in Berlin; with the Swiss cohort in Basel; and she produces clubs in the UK. She also supports artists to set up clubs in their own countires. Social Muscle Club is in event that is produced in over 10 cities worldwide.
At Social Muscle Club you take part in a simple sharing game, in which everyone offers something they can give away, and makes a request for something they want to receive. The giving and receiving happens around tables amongst performance, music, food and surprises.